posted in <<Gut Ecology > THRIVE! EXPERTS

Gut Ecology
Omega 3s: fish oil vs. flax seed oil
with Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet

The Body Ecology Diet

Dear Donna,
Is there a difference between Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil and other sources, like flax seed oil?

Donna’s response:
Supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids is essential for good health, but all omega-3 sources are not the same!

Omega-3 fatty acids can be divided into 3 main types:
• EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
• DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
• ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid)

You can find EPA and DHA in oily fish and fish oil supplements while flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are the best sources of ALA.

EPA and DHA from fish oil are better sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids than the ALA in flaxseed oil. ALA is a “precursor” to omega-3; your body takes the ALA and then must turn it into more useable EPA and DHA that is already available in fish. In otherwords, there is no further conversion needed with fish oil…it is already there.

Besides the ALA not being readily useable, there are other reasons fish oil may be superior to flaxseed oil. While fish oil supplements have no serious side effects, there have been some reports of allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock with the consumption of flax and flaxseed oil.

Men, too, should take care when deciding which omega-3 source to use. Some studies show that increased intake of flaxseed oil could encourage the growth of prostate cancer.

So if you want safe, useable, healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, fish and fish oil supplements are a more certain and perhaps safer bet.

For a happier, healthier world,
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posted on September 4, 2008 | tags:


  • Steven Moriarty

    May 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    No offense, but I disagree. Not only are fish oils more susceptible to rancidity, you can certainly get TOO MUCH EPA,DHA and HPA, and it can cause heart problems, and possibly worse. Also, The Gerson institute has been CURING cancer for over 70 years with flaxseed oil, not causing it. Also, there is the possibility oh toxins in the fish being present in the oils as well. Your body can convert the omega 3’s from flaxseed into any type of omega 3’s it needs, but you can’t convert back into ALA. If you insist on using an animal based omega 3 source, Pure arctic krill oil is the best. Where do you think whales get their omega 3’s?
    I think you should check your sources next time, Donna.

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